Tunworth croquettes with mayonnaise dips

Tunworth is a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed on a cheeseboard, baked or used to enrich recipes such as this one for Tunworth croquettes with dipping mayonnaise. Connie who makes cheese at Hampshire Cheese Company kindly shared this recipe with us, combining her experience as a chef and now as a cheesemaker, to create these amazing cheesy bites. 

Inspired by the wonderful Simon Rogan, who serves Tunworth croquettes at his Lake District restaurant, these croquettes make the most delightful canape to serve around Christmas time. They are certain to be a hit with whoever you are cooking for. After all, who can resist golden crispy balls of oozing cheese?  

This recipe makes 10-12 croquettes. The croquette mix needs resting in the fridge for several hours, so this is a recipe best to prepare the day before you wish to serve your croquettes.

For the croquettes

30g butter
40g flour 
200ml milk 
100g Tunworth cheese (about half a cheese), cubed 
Sprinkle of flour 
2 eggs, beaten 
200g panko breadcrumbs 

For the mayonnaise*

1 egg yolk 
150ml light olive oil 
Paprika (optional) 
Clove of garlic (optional) 
Chilli flakes (optional) 

*TIP If you’re short for time, use a good quality mayonnaise and just add the paprika, garlic and chilli. 

Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour, cook for 2 minutes. Remove your pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring thoroughly to ensure you remove any lumps. Once your milk is fully incorporated, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time.  

Remove your white sauce from the heat and add the cheese, stirring until it is fully melted. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a layer of clingfilm (touching the top of the mixture to stop it from forming a skin) and pop it to one side to cool. Once your mixture is completely cool it can go into the fridge, for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.  

For the mayonnaise, separate your egg yolk (you can save the white for when you come to breadcrumb the croquettes). Add the oil very slowly while whisking continuously. You may need to add a splash of water if the mayonnaise becomes too thick. Season with a splash of lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and white pepper. At this stage you can choose to flavour your mayonnaise however you like. We’ve made a garlic dip as well as a fiery paprika and chilli one. Mustard mayo would also work well!  

Once your mixture is completely chilled, roll into walnut sized balls. It can be very sticky at this stage but don’t worry. Pop your balls back into the fridge on a piece of baking parchment and chill for a further 2 hours.  

Get your fryer or pan of oil on to warm to 180°C. Once your balls have rested in the fridge, roll them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then a second coating of egg and breadcrumbs.  

Fry your croquettes for 4 minutes, until golden brown and let them rest on kitchen paper briefly before serving alongside your mayonnaise dips.